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Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2015 08:24
by Taljair te Mir'ad
First of all, I humbly ask you to read through it carefully before you throw stones at me :)
Maybe it will make sense to you. I didn’t change that much, just clarified a few things and made a few distinguishes in forming sentences.
And of course comments and discussion is very welcome.


The word order of Mando’a is in AVOL format the same as with English.
A - Actor
V - Verb
O - Object
L - Location

Mando’a verbs can be made from nouns by adding the appropriate conjugation. In formal Mando’a there is only one verb conjugation. This is for the infinitive and command forms. The infinitive and formal command forms end in two ways. With a word that ends in a consonant a vowel and the "r" must be added to produce the verb. With words that end in a vowel only the "r" must be added. In informal Mando’a there are additional words that allow distinction between other verb forms. The command verb form is formed by using the word "ke" before the verb or the prefix "k’ " when the verb starts with a vowel. The informal future tense is formed by adding the word "ven" in front of the verb. The informal present tense is formed simply by using the root verb without additional words, prefixes, or suffixes. The past tense of a verb is formed by adding the word "ru" in front of the verb. To create the negative form of a verb add the prefix "n’ ", "nu", "nu’ ", or "ne" before either the whole sentence or the negative phrase. In sentence the infinitive "r" in the acting verb is dropped. The subject verbs are used in the infinitive form.

We plan to destroy the city.
Mhi dajuna naastar oriya.

The verb "cuyir" (to be) is frequently dropped and indicated by word order. When saying something to give a description the word "bik" (it) is dropped and the correct Mando’a form is to just say the word "jate" (good) or the full form with the verb "bic cuyi jate" (it is good).

The addition of the prefix word "tion" turns a statement into a question. To form a question the word in question is put at the beginning of the sentence and the 'tion' prefix is added to it.

We are learning mando'a fast.
Mhi hibira mando'a iviin'yc.

Are we learning mando'a FAST?
Tion'iviin'yc mhi hibira mando'a?

Are we learning MANDO'A fast?
Tion'mando'a mhi hibira iviin'yc?

Are WE learning mando'a fast?
Tion'mhi hibira mando'a iviin'yc?

There are also specific question words that can be used when making a question.
They are:
tion’ad? - who?
tion'megin? - which? what? (before a vowel)
tion'meg? - which? what? (before a consonant)
tion’tuur? - when?
tion'vaii? - where?
tion’jor? - why?
tion’solet? - how many? how much?
tion'bor? - how?

The addition of the prefix "ke-" or "k’ " turns a statement into command.
To form a command the commanding verb is placed in the beginning of the sentence and the prefix "ke-" is added.

I carry a sword to battlefield
Ni juri beskad bah kyrbej.

Carry a sword to battlefield!
Ke'juri beskad bah kyrbej!
Carry your sword to battlefield!
Ke'juri gar beskad bah kyrbej!

The performer of the task can also be distinguished by the prefix "ke-".

You carry a sword to battlefield!
Ke'gar juri beskad bah kyrbej!

Gender nouns are the same for masculine, feminine and neuter. Gender is implied contextually, if relevant. Where gender clarity is necessary, the adjectives "jagyc" (male) or "dalyc" (female) are added.

Plurals are formed by adding "e" (after consonant) or "se" (after vowel) to the end of the noun.

Pronouns have no gender. Most pronouns are also possessives.
Below is a list of Mando’a pronouns:

ni - I/me
ner - my/mine
gar - you/your
kaysh - he/him/she/her
bic - it (rare)

mhi - we/us
cuun - our/ours
gar – you/yours (plural)
val - they/them/their

Adjectives and adverbs are formed by the addition of one of two suffixes.
The suffix "-la" should be added when the root word ends a vowel.
The suffix "-yc" should be used when the root word ends in a consonant.
Mostly suffixes are used in a way it would be easier to pronounce or in their traditional form so there are quite a number of exceptions from the rule above.

di'kutla, kad'la, kyorla etc.

Comparatives and superlatives are constructed from adjectives with a specific suffix for each.
The suffix "-shya" for the comparative.
The suffix "-ne" for the superlative.

Dush [doosh] - bad
Dushne [DOOSH-nay] - worse
dush'shya [doo-SHEESH-ya] - worst

ciryc [seer-EESH] - cold
ciryc'ne [seer-EESH-nay] - colder
ciryc'shya [seer-ee-SHEESH-ya] - coldest

di'kutla [dee-KOOT-lah] - stupid
di'kutlane [dee-KOOT-lah-nay] - more stupid
di'kutla'shya [dee-KOOT-lah-SHYA] - most stupid

The following rules are non-canon, be advised

Passive voice in Mando'a is extremely rarely used, for mando'a is mostly a commanding language. To create a passive voice from verb a prefix "cu' " (before consonant) or "cuy' " (before vowel) was used. When using the passive voice the object is placed in the beginning of the sentence and the subject is placed at the end with a prefix "de' ", "d' " or "de".

Alor'ad cu'kyr'amu ru'tuur de aru'hutuun.
The captain was killed yesterday by a spy.

Akaarud cu'ru'shuku or solus tuur.
The blockade was broken in a single day.

The more modern form of creating passive voice is contextual with using verb "cuyir" and prefix "de" for the subject and putting the object in the beginning of the sentence. But it's still very rarely used.

Ni susulu kaysh. - I hear him.
Ni ru'susulu kaysh. - I heard him.
Ni cuyi ru'susulu de'kaysh. - I was heard (overheard) by him.

Oriya hetti. - The city burns.
Oriya cuyi hettir. - The city is being burned.

Progressive and gerund (progressive verb used as a noun) forms of the verb was also very rarely used being an archaic word forms and were almost totally abandoned by the time mandalorians conquered Mandalor and established their homeworld.
To create progressive form the verb ending "ir" or "r" is dropped and replaced with "an" or " 'an".
In sentence the progressive verb is always used with verb "cuyir".

Cuyanan cuyi sur'jaon'yc be cuy'an.
Surviving is essential part of living.

Epa'an cuyi jatisan o'r ast.
Eating is delight in itself.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2015 13:32
by Vlet Hansen
I'm glad you have the progressive form cleared up, this is a good guide.

I usually add ke' at the beginning of the verb, instead of the sentence, though

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2015 14:12
by Taljair te Mir'ad
Same here, but you move the verb to the beginning of the sentence.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2015 15:54
by Vlet Hansen
Most of the time.

I ADDRAC a lot in my mind, though; it's one of the ways I practice Mando'a. That means my fire commands will be midsentence...

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 10 Apr 2015 17:35
by Taljair te Mir'ad
Thats good for combat situations, but the living language i think. How do you say "bring me some cheese from the fridge" in ADDRAC order to your little son for example? :)

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 11 Apr 2015 13:16
by Vlet Hansen

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 12 Apr 2015 17:54
by Taljair te Mir'ad
You do that, you make your kid a stutterer :)

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 15 May 2015 08:23
by Taljair te Mir'ad

The usage of modal verbs is very rare in mando'a, but it does happen.
Unlike english the modal verbs in mando'a are not independent words but prefixes to the carrier verb.
The existing modal "prefixes" are as follows (variant ending with vowel is used with verbs beginning with consonant and vice versa):

ente', ent' - must / have to
vegyc', vegyce' - should
ret', reta' – could / would
gyc', gyce' - shall
ruva', ruv' - used to

You must kill him.
Gar ente'kyr'amu kaysh.

You have to kill him.
Gar ente'kyr'amu kaysh.
You will have to kill him.
Gar ven ente'kyr'amu kaysh.

You should kill him.
Gar vegyce'kyr'amu kaysh.

You could have killed him.
Gar reta'kyr'amu kaysh.

You shall kill him.
Gar gyce'kyr'amu kaysh.

You used to kill a lot.
Gar ruva'kyr'amu ori'sol.

In negative or question forms of the sentence the prefixes are used as independent words and put in front of the carrier verb.

ne'ente - must not / will not have to
ne'vegyc - should not
ne'ret - could not / would not
ne'gyc - shall not
ne'ven - will not
nu'ruv - wasn't used to

You must not kill him.
Gar ne'ente kyr'amu kaysh.
Must you kill him?
Tion'ente gar kyr'amu kaysh?

You don't have to kill him.
Gar ne'ente kyr'amu kaysh.
Do you have to kill him?
Tion'ente gar kyr'amu kaysh?
You won't have to kill him.
Gar ven ne'ente kyr'amu kaysh.
Will you have to kill him?
Tion'ente gar ven'kyr'amu kaysh?

You shouldn't kill him.
Gar ne'vegyc kyr'amu kaysh.
Should you kill him?
Tion'vegyc gar kyr'amu kaysh?

You couldn't have killed him.
Gar ne'ret kyr'amu kaysh.
Could you kill him?
Tion'ret gar kyr'amu kaysh?

You shall not kill him.
Gar ne'gyc kyr'amu kaysh.
Shall you kill him?
Tion'gyc gar kyr'amu kaysh?

You weren't used to kill a lot.
Gar nu'ruv kyr'amu ori'sol.
Were you used to kill a lot?
Tion'ruv gar kyr'amu ori'sol?

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 22 May 2015 10:26
by Taljair te Mir'ad

Beten, designated in written mando’a by – ' - is described as glottal stop.
To pronounce is correctly one must issue a "sound" one makes in between the oh's when saying "oh-oh".
The usage of beten is mostly to separate two (or more) roots in complex words, or to separate too many consonants or too many vowels going in succession. This however is not a strict rule.
The words can be modified with suffixes and prefixes and beten would be dropped.


Putting beten in the word does not change the meaning, as well as taking it out does not either.
The usage is simply for pronunciation easiness. Sometimes it may be not even 'issued' when pronouncing words for there is no difficulty in pronouncing them.
In written mando’a its main purpose is separation of word roots from one another and separation of prefixes and suffixes.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 22 May 2015 21:27
by Adi'karta
While reading through your (very thorough and comprehensive) overview of the grammar, I took a few notes:

  • tion prefixing the specific word being questioned makes a lot of sense
  • officially designating -yc for words ending in vowels and -la for consonants makes more sense than the current wild-west
  • cu' before consonants, cuy' before vowels
  • prefixing subjects with de or some other workable prefix

  • I think tion'meg fits fine before a vowel; tion'me before a consonant seems like a good corresponding change
  • I'm not sure I like the idea of prefixing the performer of a task (the subject) with ke'/k' in commands; it feels a little awkward
  • I feel like we can drop cuun entirely and just use mhi for possessive ours, fitting with how we use the other pronouns. Alternatively, we could use the possessive prefix with pronouns: be'mhi
  • I think we should build the proposed modal prefixes upon narir (act, do, put)

  • You seem to have missed a closing bold tag in your first post, causing some overflow in boldness
  • For "you weren't used to kill a lot", perhaps we should use the gerund: killing, since in this instance the "used to" means "accustomed to" rather than "tasked with". Unless I'm misunderstanding this.

Points of Discussion:
  • I think we should officially drop the leading i from ibic and ibac (as well as the leading e from elek
  • I think the beten as a glottal-stop should be used sparingly -- only between vowels as in real life. (Trivia: there is actually a hidden glottal stop before every word that begins with a vowel, which is something J.R.R. Tolkien made use of in Tengwar when writing Quenya Elvish with the dedicated "vowel carrier" Tengwa seen here)
  • I also think we should drop any "inconvenient" beten from any "permanent" compounds which we shorten and formalise into our community dictionary

Also: I want to make sure I highlight Raeth's previous contributions on gerunds and passive voice; if you have not read the threads in the Non-Canon Mando'a subforum, I recommend checking them out; there are several good ideas in there which are very similar to the ones you present here.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 22 May 2015 21:45
by Taljair te Mir'ad
Well, about the pronouns and meg/megin - this is totally canon, Kar'buir's work.
On -yc and -la - making it into a completely strict rule will force us to say di'kutyc rather then present di'kutla. And that somehow just doesnt sound right to me. So in my opinion some "wild west" will just have to stay. Or we could separate the meaning of -yc and -la, ill think on it.
Using the posessive be- sounds like a good idea, but maybe use it for emphasising the posession. But ner and cuun are canon, used in Kar'ika's books, dont think we should drop it.
Dropping the i from ibic and ibac will change the word since bic means "it" and ibic means "this"
Inconvinient beten i agree, we can remove from custom words where it is not nessesary, but that requiers a thorough analises of the vocabulary and i didnt get much feedback on it.
Oh and passive voice/gerund i did take from the works of people on this site. I dont take and dont need credit for anything i post, i mostly compile the ideas i find in various places and put them together in comprehensive text form. All credit goes to people who first suggested it. I can list them if its needed.
Words i do invent, a lot, but its solo work just to share with comunity for everyones use.
About the use of ke' with performer of command - this is for situations when you have to poke your finger into somebody's chest and shout at them to do something, like "You get out there and shut those damn turrets down! You have 15 minutes" The construction of the sentance may be a little awkward, but it will be emphatic as situations require. And this form wont be used much, thats for sure.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2015 11:31
by Vlet Hansen
Am I the only one who shortens tion? I drop it from a lot of sentences, and when I do need it, I pronounce it less as "TEE-on" and more "shunn" for sake of the language's flow.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 20 Jun 2015 11:46
by Taljair te Mir'ad
Im not a big fan of changing Karen's canon words, but for the flow in pronounciation i say Tion as [teen] sometimes

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2015 07:33
by Taljair te Mir'ad

For the words not having their specific form it's easy to create a noun from a verb if it ends with "-ir".
If the verb ends in "-ir", to create a performer of the action the ending is changed to "-ur".
To create the subject of the action the ending is replaced with "-ar".

Viinir - to run
Viinur - runner

Gratiir - to punish
Gratiar - punishment
Gratiur - punisher

PS: I still think we should rework the vocabulary to indicate the verbs more specifically and eliminate a possible confusion between verbs and nouns that end in “r”.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2015 08:47
by Adi'karta
I definitely agree on modifying any nouns ending in r to reduce confusion.

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 22 Jun 2015 11:24
by Taljair te Mir'ad
Not in 'r' but in 'ir'. And we still keep the buir as a noun
If you look through the vocab - not many of nouns end in 'ir' so it shouldnt be that damaging

Re: Reworked the grammar a little

Unread postPosted: 08 Oct 2017 17:22
by Ner Jate'kara
not to bring back a dead thread or anything, but you have comparative and superlative mixed up, also shouldnt you plural be gare not just gar